Growing arugula microgreens is a great green to start, it grows very quickly and can be harvested in about ten days. They have an initial nutty flavor that fades into an earthy, peppery, and pungent taste. They go well with salads, sandwiches, and wraps.
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How To Grow Arugula Microgreens
Now that you know what arugula microgreens are let's get into the materials you are going to need to follow along in this guide.
You can grow arugula microgreens with just a microgreen kit and a pack of arugula seeds right by your window if you have a well sunlit window. If not, then I recommend you get an LED grow light. You'll also need a wired shelf to place the LED grow lights under.
Containers: At Least 3 growing trays
Growing Medium: Such as soil or coco coir
Grow Lights: T8 Grow Lights are the way to go
Misting Water Bottle
You'll only need to buy grow trays and grow lights once, after that you can reuse them over and over again for every grow. The only materials you'll need to buy again are the seeds of any microgreens you'll like to grow next and a growing medium such as coco coir.
First start with some Arugula seeds, I recommend getting Heirloom Arugula seeds as they have given me the most success.
Step 1. Prepare The Grow Tray
Start with 2 10 by 20-inch growing trays, one will be beneath the other filled with water. While the one above will have drainage holes so the water can reach the roots of the microgreens. This will prevent mold growth and overall just make the growing process so much easier.
Do not add water to the one below yet, first grab the tray without drainage holes and fill it with coco coir. Then smooth out the surface and mist it well with a spray bottle. If you don't have a spray bottle then just sprinkle water over the coco coir until it is well moisturized.
To make the tray with drainage holes just get a very sharp knife and slowly poke out small holes, simple and easy.
Step 2. Add The Seeds
You don’t need to presoak the seeds. Just add the seeds on top of the growing medium, and spread the seeds evenly with hands throughout the container. If the seeds are not spread evenly this could cause overcrowding and a few other problems. So make sure not to add too much or too little!
Step 3. Water And Cover The Seeds
Then mist the seeds, do not top the seeds with soil, just place another container on top to blackout the seeds and add weight on top for 2 - 3 days. It is very important to add weight on top of Arugula seeds so that the roots penetrate deep into the soil so that the microgreens grow straight and tall.
Set your tray in a place where it won’t get too hot, or too cold. 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. This begins the germination process. Then spray the seeds about 15 times once every 10-12 hours.
Step 4. Uncover And Give Light
On day 2 or 3, check out how much the arugula seeds have grown. If they're germinating and growing well, great! Take off the top tray and just give your arugula microgreens at least 12 hours of light every day and they’ll quickly grow tall. I recommend using a grow light, since growing them next to a window can cause your greens to lean and become leggy.
Step. 5 Check Daily
Keep under lights for 4 to 10 days. Ensure good airflow & low humidity in your grow room to prevent mold issues. Your microgreens should have the right balance of water from now till harvest. Now is the time to stop using the spray bottle and start adding water to the second tray below. This will prevent you from getting the leaves wet and prevent mold from growing.
How To Harvest Arugula Microgreens
In 8 to 10 days the arugula microgreens will be ready to harvest. Harvest at least 12 hours after watering and once they are around 2 inches tall. They are best harvested with scissors, take the top one and a half inches of shoots when harvesting. And there you go you have now successfully grown arugula microgreens.
Washing and Drying Arugula Microgreens
Use a colander to rinse your Arugula microgreens thoroughly under cold water. Dry the microgreens completely by spreading them over some paper towels and letting them air dry. You can also speed-dry them by using a fan on a slow setting. Cut microgreens are best if eaten right after drying.
How To Store Arugula Microgreens
After you harvest your arugula microgreens, you might wonder how you will store them. Just simply place them loosely in a bowl or container and put them in the refrigerator.
What Arugula Microgreens can be used for
Arugula is a microgreen that foodies and chefs love for its zesty, nutty flavor that spices up most dishes. Arugula microgreens can be used in salads, soups, sandwiches, and baked goods. You can even juice them and add them to wheatgrass shots or even smoothies.
Health Benefits of Arugula Microgreens
Arugula microgreens have plenty of cardiovascular, nervous, and digestive health benefits.
The list of health benefits includes the following:
1. Keep Your Eyes Healthy
Arugula contains lutein and zeaxanthin. Similar to their roles in plants, lutein and zeaxanthin act as protective antioxidants in the eye. These eye-protective nutrients undergo oxidation and a series of transformations to protect the macula. (1)
2. Prevents Osteoporosis
The importance of calcium and magnesium on bone health is well known, and deficiencies in these minerals can lead to osteoporosis. Luckily, as you can see from the nutritional chart above, Arugula microgreens contain many minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which are essential for bone strength.
3. Helps Regulate Neural Function
Arugula contains a lot of potassium as seen in the chart above, and potassium is well known for its ability to dramatically affect brain function. There are potassium currents in the brain that play a major role in moderating and regulating electrical currents throughout the body. (2)
4. Boosts Metabolism
Adequate amounts of potassium are also needed to ensure optimum utilization of food for protein synthesis and growth. Which has an overall impact on tissue regeneration, cell growth, and balanced metabolism. (3)
5. Stabilizes Blood Sugar Levels
Potassium has been found to stabilize blood sugar levels and reduce the chance of developing diabetes. Low levels of potassium have also been associated with a higher risk of developing diabetes according to one study. (4)
Arugula Microgreens Nutritional Chart
It is high in beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and magnesium.
Other nutrition includes:
Minerals per 100g of (FW)
Vitamins per 100g of (FW)
Lutein + zeaxanthin